1 MARGARET FULLER 725 expense of this world. I hear always the law of Adrastia, 25 that every soul which had acquired any truth, should be safe from harm until another period. I know that the world I converse with in the city and in the farms, is not the world I think. I observe that difference, and shall observe it. One day, I shall know the value and law of this discrepance. But I have not found that much was gained by manipular attempts to realize the world of thought. Many eager persons successively make an experiment in this way, and make themselves ridiculous. They acquire democratic manners, they foam at the mouth, they hate and deny. Worse, I observe, that, in the history of mankind, there is never a solitary example of success, taking their own tests of success. I say this polemically, or in reply to the inquiry, why not realize your world? But far be from me the despair which prejudges the law by a paltry empiricism, since there never was a right endeavor, but it succeeded. Patience and patience, we shall win at the last. We must be very suspicious of the deceptions of the element of time. It takes a good deal of time to eat or to sleep, or to earn a hundred dollars, and a very little time to entertain a hope and an insight which becomes the light of our life. We dress our garden, eat our dinners, discuss the household with our wives, and these things make no impression, are forgotten next week; but in the solitude to which every man is always returning, he has a sanity and revelations, which in his passage into new worlds he will carry with him. Never mind the ridicule, never mind the defeat: up again, old heart! it seems to say, there is victory yet for all justice; and the true romance which the world exists to realize, will be the transformation of genius into practical power.  25. Adrastia: Another name for Nemesis, the Greek goddess of fate or destiny. Margaret Fuller [ ] Margaret Fuller was born in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, on May 23, Although her mother, Margarett Crane Fuller, had been a teacher in her local school in Canton, Massachusetts, Fuller was largely educated by her father, Timothy, a politician who was elected to the House of Representatives in Determined that his daughter would have a first-class education, Timothy Fuller began teaching her English and Latin grammar at the age of six. Greek soon followed, as well as studies in French and Italian. The precocious Margaret consequently had an introduction to language and cultural study that rivaled that of almost any young man being prepared for a college education in the nineteenth century. At the age of fourteen, Fuller was sent to a school for women, but she had difficulty acclimating herself to the less rigorous standards of the school and found her classmates cliquish and dull. Returning home, she continued to
2 726 THE ERA OF REFORM Conviction dwells upon her lips. Ralph Waldo Emerson Margaret Fuller This portrait, the only surviving photograph of Fuller, is a copy of a lost daguerreotype made in July 1846, shortly before she sailed to Europe on assignment for the New- York Tribune. study with her father, who encouraged her to become a writer. Her first publication was In Defense of Brutus, an article on the often-maligned leader of the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar, which appeared in the Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot in When Timothy Fuller died suddenly in 1835, Fuller was forced to find a way of earning a living and supporting her nearly destitute family. She first opened a school for girls and young women in Boston. Fuller proved to be a popular teacher, but she found the work frustrating and decided to try to make a living as a writer. In 1838, she began an innovative series of Conversations for women, organizing them as discussion classes for which the participants would pay tuition. Fuller also became close friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson and other transcendentalists. Like them, she was deeply interested in German literature and philosophy. In fact, her first two books were translations of German books: Eckermann s Conversations with Goethe (1839) and Correspondence of Fraulein Günderode with Bettine von Arnim (1842). In 1840, Fuller also became the first editor of the Dial, the unofficial journal of the transcendentalists. Since the position did not pay a salary, however, Fuller gave it up in favor of conducting more conversations and devoting herself to writing. After an ambitious trip to the Great Lakes, then the edge of the frontier in the United States, Fuller published an account of her travels, Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 (1844). During the following few years, Fuller moved outward from Boston to the national and then the international scene, becoming one of the most famous and influential women of her generation. In the fall of 1844, she wrote Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845), a central text in the history of American feminism. After she completed the book, Fuller assumed the position of literary editor for the New-York Tribune, through which she reached a broad national audience for the first time. Fuller wrote over 250 articles and reviews for the newspaper, covering a wide range of topics that included art, music, literature, and increasingly social reform. By the fall of 1846, when she accepted an invitation to travel to Europe with friends and to become the Tribune s first woman foreign correspondent, Fuller was well prepared to cover the social upheaval that would soon begin to shake the Continent. After touring England and France, where she was entertained by some of the notable literary and cultural figures of the period, Fuller arrived in Italy at a moment when revolutionary activity was spreading across Europe. She quickly became engaged in Italian politics and wrote vivid articles for the Tribune, providing American readers with a fascinating, personal account of the Italian revolutions of Her personal life was as dramatic as the political events unfolding around her. When the Roman Republic was overthrown in 1849, she fled to Florence with her lover, Giovanni Angelo, Marchese d Ossoli, and their son. Fuller decided to return with them to the United States, which was then being convulsed by the bitter controversy over the Compromise of But the possibility that she might help shape the course of events in her native country abruptly ended with her death on July 17, 1850, when the ship that was returning Fuller and her family home to New York City sank in a storm off Long Island.
3 FULLER: WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 727 Fuller s Woman in the Nineteenth Century. In the July 1843 issue of the Dial, the literary journal that she had edited from , Fuller published an essay about the relationship between the sexes, The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men, Woman versus Women. With the encouragement of her friends, Fuller in 1844 decided to expand the essay into a book, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845). It was among the first books published in the United States to take up the question of the ways in which society restricts the role of women. Seeking to liberate both men and women from conventional attitudes and assumptions about gender roles, Fuller argued that women were responsible for developing their full potential. She also asserted that men, traditionally in positions of power, must rethink social and political boundaries in order to facilitate the full development of members of both sexes. Woman in the Nineteenth Century defies an easy description or brief summary, since it includes Fuller s accounts of famous women in history and myth, quasi-autobiographical passages, meditations on the importance of self-development, and extended arguments in favor of liberated, independent lives for men and women. In fact, the book s challenge to conventional literary standards mirrors Fuller s challenge to conventional thinking about the proper boundaries or roles of men and women. The text of the following selection is taken from the first American edition of Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845). bedfordstmartins.com/ americanlit for research links on Fuller From WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Here, as elsewhere, the gain of creation consists always in the growth of individual minds, which live and aspire, as flowers bloom and birds sing, in the midst of morasses; and in the continual development of that thought, the thought of human destiny, which is given to eternity adequately to express, and which ages of failure only seemingly impede. Only seemingly, and whatever seems to the contrary, this country is as surely destined to elucidate a great moral law, as Europe was to promote the mental culture of man. Though the national independence be blurred by the servility of individuals, though freedom and equality have been proclaimed only to leave room for a monstrous display of slave-dealing and slave-keeping; though the free American so often feels himself free, like the Roman, only to pamper his appetites and his indolence through the misery of his fellow beings, still it is not in vain, that the verbal statement has been made, All men are born free and equal. There it stands, a golden certainty wherewith to encourage the good, to shame the bad. The new world may be called clearly to perceive that it incurs the utmost penalty, if it reject or oppress the sorrowful brother. And, if men are deaf, the angels hear. But men cannot be deaf. It is inevitable that an external freedom, an independence of the encroachments of other men, such as has been achieved for the nation, should be so also for every member of it. That which has once been clearly conceived in the intelligence cannot fail sooner or later to be acted out. It has become a law
4 728 THE ERA OF REFORM as irrevocable as that of the Medes 1 in their ancient dominion; men will privately sin against it, but the law, as expressed by a leading mind of the age, Tutti fatti a sembianza d un Solo, Figli tutti d un solo riscatto, In qual ora, in qual parte del suolo Trascorriamo quest aura vital, Siam fratelli, siam stretti ad un patto: Maladetto colui che lo infrange, Che s innalza sul fiacco che piange Che contrista uno spirto immortal. 2 All made in the likeness of the One, All children of one ransom, In whatever hour, in whatever part of the soil, We draw this vital air, We are brothers; we must be bound by one compact, Accursed he who infringes it, Who raises himself upon the weak who weep, Who saddens an immortal spirit. This law cannot fail of universal recognition. Accursed be he who willingly saddens an immortal spirit, doomed to infamy in later, wiser ages, doomed in future stages of his own being to deadly penance, only short of death. Accursed be he who sins in ignorance, if that ignorance be caused by sloth. We sicken no less at the pomp than the strife of words. We feel that never were lungs so puffed with the wind of declamation, on moral and religious subjects, as now. We are tempted to implore these word-heroes, these word-catos, 3 word-christs, to beware of cant 4 above all things; to remember that hypocrisy is the most hopeless as well as the meanest of crimes, and that those must surely be polluted by it, who do not reserve a part of their morality and religion for private use. Landor 5 says that he cannot have a great deal of mind who cannot afford to let the larger part of it lie fallow, and what is true of genius is not less so of virtue. The tongue is a valuable member, but should appropriate but a small part of the vital juices that are needful all over the body. We feel that the mind may grow black and rancid in the smoke even of altars. We start up 1. Medes: By the sixth century BCE, the Medes, a people who originally lived in present-day Iran, had established a vast empire that covered the area from present-day Azerbaijan to Central Asia and Afghanistan. 2. Tutti...immortal: Manzoni. [Fuller s note.] Alessandro Manzoni ( ), Italian poet and novelist. 3. word-catos: Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Elder) ( BCE) was a Roman statesman and orator, known for his opposition to the spread of Greek culture in Rome. 4. beware of cant: Dr. Johnson s one piece of advice should be written on every door; Clear your mind of cant. But Byron, to whom it was so acceptable, in clearing away the noxious vine, shook down the building. Sterling s emendation is worthy of honor: Realize your cant, not cast it off. [Fuller s note.] She refers to Samuel Johnson ( ), English essayist and critic; George Gordon, Lord Byron ( ), English poet notorious for his rejection of religious and social conventions; and John Sterling ( ), English novelist and poet. 5. Landor: Walter Savage Landor ( ), English poet.
5 FULLER: WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 729 from the harangue to go into our closet and shut the door. There inquires the spirit, Is this rhetoric the bloom of healthy blood or a false pigment artfully laid on? And yet again we know where is so much smoke, must be some fire; with so much talk about virtue and freedom, must be mingled some desire for them; that it cannot be in vain that such have become the common topics of conversation among men, rather than schemes for tyranny and plunder, that the very newspapers see it best to proclaim themselves Pilgrims, Puritans, Heralds of Holiness. The king that maintains so costly a retinue cannot be a mere boast, or Carabbas fiction. 6 We have waited here long in the dust; we are tired and hungry, but the triumphal procession must appear at last. Of all its banners, none has been more steadily upheld, and under none have more valor and willingness for real sacrifices been shown, than that of the champions of the enslaved African. And this band it is, which, partly from a natural following out of principles, partly because many women have been prominent in that cause, makes, just now, the warmest appeal in behalf of woman. Though there has been a growing liberality on this subject, yet society at large is not so prepared for the demands of this party, but that they are and will be for some time, coldly regarded as the Jacobins 7 of their day. Is it not enough, cries the irritated trader, that you have done all you could to break up the national union, and thus destroy the prosperity of our country, but now you must be trying to break up family union, to take my wife away from the cradle and the kitchen hearth to vote at polls, and preach from a pulpit? Of course, if she does such things, she cannot attend to those of her own sphere. She is happy enough as she is. She has more leisure than I have, every means of improvement, every indulgence. Have you asked her whether she was satisfied with these indulgences? No, but I know she is. She is too amiable to wish what would make me unhappy, and too judicious to wish to step beyond the sphere of her sex. I will never consent to have our peace disturbed by any such discussions. Consent you? it is not consent from you that is in question, it is assent from your wife. Am not I the head of my house? You are not the head of your wife. God has given her a mind of her own. I am the head and she the heart. God grant you play true to one another then. I suppose I am to be grateful that you did not say she was only the hand. If the head represses no natural pulse of the heart, there can be no question as to your giving your consent. Both will be of one accord, and there needs but to present any question to get a full and true answer. There is no need of precaution, of indulgence, or consent. But our doubt is whether the heart does consent with the head, or only obeys its decrees with a passiveness that precludes the exercise of its natural powers, or a repugnance that turns sweet qualities to bitter, or a doubt that 6. Carabbas fiction: The Marquess of Carabbas was the name the cat gave his master in the popular French story Le Chat Botté ( Puss in Boots ) by Charles Perrault ( ). 7. Jacobins: The political club that became a radical republican organization during the French Revolution.
6 730 THE ERA OF REFORM lays waste the fair occasions of life. It is to ascertain the truth, that we propose some liberating measures. Thus vaguely are these questions proposed and discussed at present. But their being proposed at all implies much thought and suggests more. Many women are considering within themselves, what they need that they have not, and what they can have, if they find they need it. Many men are considering whether women are capable of being and having more than they are and have, and, whether, if so, it will be best to consent to improvement in their condition. This morning, I open the Boston Daily Mail, and find in its poet s corner, a translation of Schiller s 8 Dignity of Woman. In the advertisement of a book on America, I see in the table of contents this sequence, Republican Institutions. American Slavery. American Ladies. I open the Deutsche Schnellpost, published in New-York, and find at the head of a column, Juden- und Frauen-emancipation in Ungarn. Emancipation of Jews and Women in Hungary. The past year has seen action in the Rhode-Island legislature, to secure married women rights over their own property, where men showed that a very little examination of the subject could teach them much; an article in the Democratic Review 9 on the same subject more largely considered, written by a woman, impelled, it is said, by glaring wrong to a distinguished friend having shown the defects in the existing laws, and the state of opinion from which they spring; and an answer from the revered old man, J. Q. Adams, in some respects the Phocion 10 of his time, to an address made him by some ladies. To this last I shall again advert in another place. These symptoms of the times have come under my view quite accidentally: one who seeks, may, each month or week, collect more. The numerous party, whose opinions are already labelled and adjusted too much to their mind to admit of any new light, strive, by lectures on some model-woman of bridelike beauty and gentleness, by writing and lending little treatises, intended to mark out with precision the limits of woman s sphere, and woman s mission, to prevent other than the rightful shepherd from climbing the wall, or the flock from using any chance to go astray. Without enrolling ourselves at once on either side, let us look upon the subject from the best point of view which to-day offers. No better, it is to be feared, than a high housetop. A high hill-top or at least a cathedral spire, would be desirable. It may well be an Anti-Slavery party that pleads for woman, if we consider merely that she does not hold property on equal terms with men; so that, if a husband dies without making a will, the wife, instead of taking at once his place as head of the family, 8. Schiller s: Friedrich von Schiller ( ), German philosopher. 9. Democratic Review: The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, an influential literary and political journal. 10. J. Q. Adams... Phocion: John Quincy Adams ( ), well regarded for his eloquent speeches, was the sixth president of the United States; Phocion ( BCE), Athenian ruler known for his integrity and powerful speeches.
7 FULLER: WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 731 inherits only a part of his fortune, often brought him by herself, as if she were a child, or ward only, not an equal partner. We will not speak of the innumerable instances in which profligate and idle men live upon the earnings of industrious wives; or if the wives leave them, and take with them the children, to perform the double duty of mother and father, follow from place to place, and threaten to rob them of the children, if deprived of the rights of a husband, as they call them, planting themselves in their poor lodgings, frightening them into paying tribute by taking from them the children, running into debt at the expense of these otherwise so overtasked helots. Such instances count up by scores within my own memory. I have seen the husband who had stained himself by a long course of low vice, till his wife was wearied from her heroic forgiveness, by finding that his treachery made it useless, and that if she would provide bread for herself and her children, she must be separate from his ill fame. I have known this man come to instal himself in the chamber of a woman who loathed him and say she should never take food without his company. I have known these men steal their children whom they knew they had no means to maintain, take them into dissolute company, expose them to bodily danger, to frighten the poor woman, to whom, it seems, the fact that she alone had borne the pangs of their birth, and nourished their infancy, does not give an equal right to them. I do believe that this mode of kidnapping, and it is frequent enough in all classes of society, will be by the next age viewed as it is by Heaven now, and that the man who avails himself of the shelter of men s laws to steal from a mother her own children, or arrogate any superior right in them, save that of superior virtue, will bear the stigma he deserves, in common with him who steals grown men from their mother land, their hopes, and their homes. I said, we will not speak of this now, yet I have spoken, for the subject makes me feel too much. I could give instances that would startle the most vulgar and callous, but I will not, for the public opinion of their own sex is already against such men, and where cases of extreme tyranny are made known, there is private action in the wife s favor. But she ought not to need this, nor, I think, can she long. Men must soon see that, on their own ground, that woman is the weaker party, she ought to have legal protection, which would make such oppression impossible. But I would not deal with atrocious instances except in the way of illustration, neither demand from men a partial redress in some one matter, but go to the root of the whole. If principles could be established, particulars would adjust themselves aright. Ascertain the true destiny of woman, give her legitimate hopes, and a standard within herself; marriage and all other relations would by degrees be harmonized with these. But to return to the historical progress of this matter. Knowing that there exists in the minds of men a tone of feeling towards women as towards slaves, such as is expressed in the common phrase, Tell that to women and children, that the infinite soul can only work through them in already ascertained limits; that the gift of reason, man s highest prerogative, is allotted to them in much lower degree; that they must be kept from mischief and melancholy by being constantly engaged in active labor, which is to be furnished and directed by those better able to think, &c., &c.; we need not multiply instances, for who can review the experience of last week without recalling words which imply, whether in jest or earnest, these views or views like these; knowing this,
8 732 THE ERA OF REFORM can we wonder that many reformers think that measures are not likely to be taken in behalf of women, unless their wishes could be publicly represented by women? That can never be necessary, cry the other side. All men are privately influenced by women; each has his wife, sister, or female friends, and is too much biased by these relations to fail of representing their interests, and, if this is not enough, let them propose and enforce their wishes with the pen. The beauty of home would be destroyed, the delicacy of the sex be violated, the dignity of halls of legislation degraded by an attempt to introduce them there. Such duties are inconsistent with those of a mother; and then we have ludicrous pictures of ladies in hysterics at the polls, and senate chambers filled with cradles. But if, in reply, we admit as truth that woman seems destined by nature rather for the inner circle, we must add that the arrangements of civilized life have not been, as yet, such as to secure it to her. Her circle, if the duller, is not the quieter. If kept from excitement, she is not from drudgery. Not only the Indian squaw carries the burdens of the camp, but the favorites of Louis the Fourteenth accompany him in his journeys, and the washerwoman stands at her tub and carries home her work at all seasons, and in all states of health. Those who think the physical circumstances of woman would make a part in the affairs of national government unsuitable, are by no means those who think it impossible for the negresses to endure field work, even during pregnancy, or the sempstresses to go through their killing labors. As to the use of the pen, there was quite as much opposition to woman s possessing herself of that help to free agency, as there is now to her seizing on the rostrum or the desk; and she is likely to draw, from a permission to plead her cause that way, opposite inferences to what might be wished by those who now grant it. As to the possibility of her filling with grace and dignity, any such position, we should think those who had seen the great actresses, and heard the Quaker preachers of modern times, would not doubt, that woman can express publicly the fulness of thought and creation, without losing any of the peculiar beauty of her sex. What can pollute and tarnish is to act thus from any motive except that something needs to be said or done. Women could take part in the processions, the songs, the dances of old religion; no one fancied their delicacy was impaired by appearing in public for such a cause. As to her home, she is not likely to leave it more than she now does for balls, theatres, meetings for promoting missions, revival meetings, and others to which she flies, in hope of an animation for her existence, commensurate with what she sees enjoyed by men. Governors of ladies fairs are no less engrossed by such a change, than the Governor of the state by his; presidents of Washingtonian societies no less away from home than presidents of conventions. If men look straitly to it, they will find that, unless their lives are domestic, those of the women will not be. A house is no home unless it contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body. The female Greek, of our day, is as much in the street as the male to cry, What news? We doubt not it was the same in Athens of old. The women, shut out from the market place, made up for it at the religious festivals. For human beings are not so constituted that they can live without expansion. If they do not get it one way, they must another, or perish. As to men s representing women fairly at present, while we hear from men who owe to their wives not only all that is comfortable or graceful, but all that is wise in the
9 FULLER: EARLY JOURNALISM 733 arrangement of their lives, the frequent remark, You cannot reason with a woman, when from those of delicacy, nobleness, and poetic culture, the contemptuous phrase women and children, and that in no light sally of the hour, but in works intended to give a permanent statement of the best experiences, when not one man, in the million, shall I say? no, not in the hundred million, can rise above the belief that woman was made for man, when such traits as these are daily forced upon the attention, can we feel that man will always do justice to the interests of woman? Can we think that he takes a sufficiently discerning and religious view of her office and destiny, ever to do her justice, except when prompted by sentiment, accidentally or transiently, that is, for the sentiment will vary according to the relations in which he is placed. The lover, the poet, the artist, are likely to view her nobly. The father and the philosopher have some chance of liberality; the man of the world, the legislator for expediency, none. Under these circumstances, without attaching importance, in themselves, to the changes demanded by the champions of woman, we hail them as signs of the times. We would have every arbitrary barrier thrown down. We would have every path laid open to woman as freely as to man. Were this done and a slight temporary fermentation allowed to subside, we should see crystallizations more pure and of more various beauty. We believe the divine energy would pervade nature to a degree unknown in the history of former ages, and that no discordant collision, but a ravishing harmony of the spheres would ensue. Yet, then and only then, will mankind be ripe for this, when inward and outward freedom for woman as much as for man shall be acknowledged as a right, not yielded as a concession. As the friend of the negro assumes that one man cannot by right, hold another in bondage, so should the friend of woman assume that man cannot, by right, lay even well-meant restrictions on women. If the negro be a soul, if the woman be a soul, appareled in flesh, to one Master only are they accountable. There is but one law for souls, and if there is to be an interpreter of it, he must come not as man, or son of man, but as son of God.  Fuller s Early Journalism. As the literary editor for the New-York Daily Tribune from December 1, 1844, until August 1, 1846, Fuller was responsible for writing and editing a wide variety of articles and reviews on literature and culture. The newspaper was edited by Horace Greeley, who was committed to social reforms of many kinds, and who gave Fuller wide latitude in expressing her views. In less than two years, she wrote over 250 articles and reviews on many topics, from current musical performances to recently published books to issues of social reform. Fuller s articles for the Tribune were published anonymously, but she signed virtually all of them with a star or an asterisk (*) at the end. Many of the articles were subsequently reprinted in the New-York Weekly Tribune, which reached an even larger national audience. The texts of the articles are taken from the New-York Weekly Tribune of December 28, 1844, and March 22, 1845.
10 734 THE ERA OF REFORM NEW YEAR S DAY It was a beautiful custom among some of the Indian tribes, once a year, to extinguish all the fires, and, by a day of fasting and profound devotion, to propitiate the Great Spirit for the coming year. They then produced sparks by friction, and lit up afresh the altar and the hearth with the new fire. And this was considered as the most precious and sacred gift from one person to another, binding them in bonds of inviolate friendship for that year, certainly; with a hope that the same might endure through life. From the young to the old it was a token of the highest respect; from the old to the young, of a great expectation. To us might it be granted to solemnize the new year by the mental renovation of which this ceremony was the eloquent symbol! Might we extinguish, if only for a day, those fires where an uninformed religious ardor has led to human sacrifices; which have warmed the household, but, also, prepared pernicious, more than wholesome, viands for their use. The Indian produced the new spark by friction. It would be a still more beautiful emblem, and expressive of the more extended powers of civilized men, if we should draw the spark from the centre of our system and the source of light by means of the burning glass. Where, then, is to be found the new knowledge, the new thought, the new hope, that shall begin a new year in a spirit not discordant with the acceptable year of the Lord? Surely, there must be such existing, if latent some sparks of new fire, pure from ashes and from smoke, worthy to be offered as a new-year s gift? Let us look at the signs of the times, to see in what spot this fire shall be sought on what fuel it may be fed. The ancients poured out libations of the choicest juices of Earth, to express their gratitude to the Power that had enabled them to be sustained from her bosom. They enfranchised slaves, to show that devotion to the Gods induced a sympathy with men. Let us look about us to see with what rites, what acts of devotion, this modern Christian nation greets the approach of the New Year; by what signs she denotes the clear morning of a better day, such as may be expected when the eagle has entered into covenant with the dove. This last week brings tidings that a portion of the inhabitants of Illinois, the rich and blooming region on which every gift of nature has been lavished to encourage the industry and brighten the hopes of man, not only refuses a libation to the Power that has so blessed their fields, but declares that the dew is theirs, and the sunlight is theirs, that they live from and for themselves, acknowledging no obligation and no duty to God or to man. One man has freed a slave, but a great part of the nation is now busy in contrivingmeasures that may best rivet the fetters on those now chained, and forge them strongest for millions yet unborn. Selfishness and tyranny no longer wear the mask; they walk haughtily abroad, affronting with their hard-hearted boasts and brazen resolves the patience of the sweet heavens. National Honor is trodden under foot for a National bribe, and neither sex nor age defends the redresser of injuries from the rage of the injurer.
11 FULLER: NEW YEAR S DAY 735 Yet, amid these reports which come flying on the paper wings of every day, the scornful laugh of the gnomes, who begin to believe they can buy all souls with their gold, was checked a moment when the aged knight of the better cause answered the challenge truly in keeping with the chivalry of the time, You are in the wrong, and I will kick you, by holding the hands of the chevalier till those around secured him. We think the man of old must have held him with his eye, as physicians of moral power can insane patients; great as are his exploits for his age, he cannot have much bodily strength, unless by miracle. The treatment of Mr. Adams and Mr. Hoar 1 seems to show that we are not fitted to emulate the savages in preparation for the new fire. The Indians knew how to reverence the old and the wise. Among the manifestos of the day it is impossible not to respect that of the Mexican Minister 2 for the manly indignation with which he has uttered truths, however deep our mortification at hearing them. It has been observed for the last fifty years that the tone of diplomatic correspondence was much improved as to simplicity and directness. Once, diplomacy was another name for intrigue, and a paper of this sort was expected to be a mesh of artful phrases, through which the true meaning might be detected, but never actually grasped. Now here is one where an occasion being afforded by the unutterable folly of the corresponding party, a Minister speaks the truth as it lies in his mind, directly and plainly, as man speaks to man. His statement will command the sympathy of the civilized world. As to the State papers that have followed, they are of a nature to make the Austrian despot sneer, as he counts in his oratory the woolen stockings he has got knit by imprisoning all the free geniuses in his dominions. He, at least, only appeals to the legitimacy of blood; these dare appeal to legitimacy, as seen from a moral point of view. History will class them with the brags of sharpers, who bully their victims about their honor, while they stretch forth their hands for the gold they have won with loaded dice. Do you dare to say the dice are loaded? Prove it; and I will shoot you for injuring my honor. The Mexican makes his gloss on the page of American Honor. The girl in the Kentucky prison on that of her Freedom. 3 The delegate of Massachusetts on that of her Union. Ye stars! whose image she has placed upon her banner, answer us! Are not your Unions of a different sort? Do they not work to other results? Yet we cannot lightly be discouraged or alarmed as to the destiny of our Country. The 1. Mr. Adams and Mr. Hoar: After his election to the House of Representatives in 1830, former president John Quincy Adams ( ) fought for the repeal of a congressional rule that automatically tabled petitions against slavery. He was finally successful in Samuel Hoar ( ), an emissary sent by the Massachusetts government to Charleston, South Carolina, in late 1844, failed in his efforts to lobby the South Carolina legislature to stop the practice of imprisoning free black sailors aboard ships from Massachusetts and then selling them into slavery. The legislature had him expelled from the city. 2. the Mexican Minister: Manuel C. Rejon, diplomat who argued against the American annexation of Mexican lands in The Mexican Manifesto Against the Annexation of Texas, as reported in the New-York Tribune on December 13, The girl... Freedom: Delia Webster, an abolitionist, was jailed in Lexington, Kentucky, for helping three fugitive slaves, as reported in the New-York Tribune on December 20, 1844.